The blog post below is written by one of the leaders in our SLI program. They were asked as a part of the leadership program to write about the Kingdom of God. Specifically, what does it mean to tangibly live out the Kingdom of God?
– SLI Staff
What does it mean to live out the Kingdom of God tangibly? This question was recently posed to me, and my initial thoughts on the matter were about as complete as Steve Jobs’ college education. After all, as a millennial with no concrete plans to speak of, who am I to say that I know how to live out the greatest call a human being could ever receive? However, through various experiences with people, my perspective has been broadened on how to see the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.
Summer Leadership Intensive (SLI) has been instrumental in revealing the Kingdom and it’s work to me. As part of SLI, I had the opportunity to be a family group leader during high school camp. During one of the evening worship sessions, I looked around and was met by an incredible sight. Seriously, I swear I saw heaven. The room was filled with 150 people and right in our midst was the manifest presence of God. Hands were held high in surrender and adoration, faces were lit up with joy, and voices joined together to sing praises to the most high. It was straight outta Revelation 4. So, I would most certainly include unabandoned worship as a large part of kingdom work.
Another fantastic example happened in my family group of sweet, freshman girls. During one of our meetings, we spent time discussing different areas of need in our lives and then we all prayed over one another. It was a beautiful picture; young students rising up and interceding on behalf of one another. I was so humbled to be included in a special moment of believers fighting on behalf of one another. To me, it clearly depicted another principle of living on mission: serving and investing in the body of Christ.
My next idea on how to live out the kingdom is a result of this great book I’m reading for SLI. Sorry to sound redundant, but the book is called The Tangible Kingdom. I HIGHLY recommend it. It talks about this idea of how to posture yourself in the secular world as a redeemed believer. We are, as a matter fact, called to live in the world, not in some exclusive place transcendent of it. And that means living on mission wherever we happen to be. In order to advance the Kingdom, we must be among those who are not yet a part of it. The best place for me to do this personally is at the restaurant where I work. The bulk of my fellow employees are unsaved and uninterested in “churchy” things. I have been challenged to stop seeing them as “projects” to preach to and fix, and instead to understand my responsibility to represent Jesus to them. After all He is the greatest example of a Kingdom worker of all time.
To be honest, the fact that it can be on earth as it is in heaven get’s me so jazzed to the point of chills. It is an honor beyond words to be in service of the one true King. It reminds me of this verse from an old hymn:
Stand up for Jesus
Ye soldiers of the cross;
Lift high His royal banner,
It must not, it must not suffer loss
—written by Susanna Rowe, leadership apprentice with Summer Leadership Intensive